Daily Archives: February 26, 2006

Private or Public Sector Development – Who Does It Best in the Caribbean?

David Jessop at the Jamaica Gleaner has some interesting views on private vs. public sector development and how we got where we are now…

In the Anglophone Caribbean most political parties, trade unions and the public sector grew up against this background, taking as its model the beliefs prevalent at that time in the United Kingdom.”

“The result, when mixed with complex and strongly held views relating to class, ethnicity and a belief that independence meant an end to foreign ownership, was the emergence of the view that the economic role of the state and public sector is superior to the role played by the private sector…”

Spot on regarding class and ethnicity impacting economies, Mr. Jessop.

Race shouldn’t matter at all – but it does, and not in the way some people might imagine. More on racial issues soon in Barbados Free Press. We have been amazed at some of the letters we have received from our readers.

Read the rest of Mr. Jessop’s article in the Jamaican Gleaner.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Culture & Race Issues, Island Life

Cricket World Cup – Chairman deCaires Looks To Cruise Ships for Accommodations

The Nation News Online has posted an interview with the Chairman of World Cup Barbados, Chris deCaires. Not much to it. The Nation spent fully two-thirds of the article on the “ten-dollar-a-day” Indian labourers who ended up being deported last November after finding themselves living in shipping containers.

The article does contain a few interesting gems though.

(Oh, sorry… should have said “a few interesting quotes”. For whatever reason, some people are so sensitive to that “gems” word.)

Here are a few interesting quotes by Mr. deCaires in the article…

In response to the question, “Do you have a construction schedule that can be shared?”…

“We will soon be putting up timelines and deadlines for all to see.”

(BFP Comment: For those who need an interpretation, that means “No.”)

On Prime Minister Arthur taking charge…

“One of the reasons the PM has to move heaven and earth is because we are in the last 52 weeks and not on schedule.”

On Security…

“This is a very important matter and I believe Barbados is seen to be in a strong position in this area. However, it is a highly confidential area and I would not like to go into any details here.”

(BFP Comment: Good for you, Mr. deCaires. That was an entirely proper answer – security specifics are none of the media’s business. By the way, Mr. deCaires, we hope you read our article “Cricket World Cup 2007 Prepares For Muslim Terror Threat – But Anti-U.S. Bias Weakens Security Effort”)

On the shortfall in accommodations…

“A number of cruise ships are under discussion and this will help to bridge the gap.”

Will Barbados be Ready?

It will be lots of hard work, lots of overtime, but there are many, many people working many, many hours to get it done. We have no option, we have to get it done. All I can say to Barbados and others is: “We will be ready.”

Our Comments

These mega-projects (Olympics, World Cups, etc) always seem to be behind schedule. With few exceptions, the host countries successfully rise to the occasion – and we anticipate that Barbados will do the same.

We caution though, that it is always during the last six-month big push when the cost-overrun abuses and large scale frauds take place.

And so it starts…

Note the use of the phrases by Chairman deCaires “Lots of Overtime” and “We have no option, we have to get it done.”

The world is full of host countries and cities that are still paying for their circuses a decade later. They have also discovered that the hoped for (and always promised) “increase in tourism” is an elusive creature that seldom shows itself enough to justify the cost of the big event – especially if costs are allowed to run wild during the rush to finish in time.

Chris deCaires is a hard-working chap, and he is showing that he can be innovative in meeting the challenges – for instance, calling in cruise ships to provide the much needed, but temporary, accomodations boost. He has also shown that he knows that Perfect is the enemy of Good Enough.

But who will monitor and control the costs? Who will say “no” to Mr. deCaires when it needs to be said?

We know who will eventually end up paying for it all… and will still be paying for it long after the cheers fade: ordinary everyday Bajans who may not even be able to afford to see a single game.

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